When diamond Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories closes, enormous circular craters will be left in the tundra.
But instead of leaving the land and surrounding areas permanently scarred by industrial mining, the company decided to plan for closure while still developing the mine.
“The design of the mine is actually geared towards closure”, says Colleen English, superintendent for Sustainable Development, Communities and External Relations at Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
An Interim Closure and Reclamation Plan is reviewed at different stages of the development, taking into consideration various community concerns.
The mine is situated in one of the most ecologically sensitive environments in the world. The surrounding land is home to bears, wolverine and migrating caribou. The waters of Lac de Gras are pure and teeming with fish and bird life.
In order to preserve that habitat, the immense pits will be cleaned and filled with water. When the water quality is considered good enough, the dikes will be cut, and most of the land will be submerged and reconnected to the lake.
“Chunks of the island would be left as islands, as were there before,” says English.
Some shallower areas will be designed as fish habitat, she added.
Colleen English, superintendent for Sustainable Development, Communities and External Relations at Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. spoke with Radio Canada International producer Levon Sevunts about the closure of the Diavik mine.Listen